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Friday Night Sermon (June 5, 2020): "Justice and Fair Treatment for All"

Updated: Jun 9


Sermon


There should be Justice and fair treatment for all.

We are all familiar with what is going on in our country. We were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Covid virus. We were ready to start becoming a society again and were adopting the precautions.

Now a tragedy has grabbed our country and affected everyone. We are all horrified that a life was senselessly taken unnecessarily. Those who are accused of committing crimes have a right to defense and a fair trial.

As we see thousands taking to the street to express their feelings and protest the treatment of a fellow human being and unfortunately many others who have experienced a similar fate, we think that now, now after this horrific incident, that this is the final incident. We are thinking that now, things have gotten so bad, that our country, our world will now, finally start to take steps to prevent people of all descents, and minority groups to be singled out and/or treated unfairly. It’s sad that it is taking the loss of yet another life in such a brutal manner that will make people realize that indeed we all brothers and sisters.

As Jews, we can relate. We too, experienced persecution for over 1500 years from many different groups. It took a disaster, the Shoah, for the world to finally acknowledge that we needed our homeland back. Unfortunately, while that may have given our people a respite from the oppression from others just because we are Jews, after many years, that sympathy has worn off and antisemitism is still rearing its ugly head.

We’ve said this many times before: how pervasive it is in Torah and the Psalms and our prayers that G-d expects us—no, demands and commands us—to take care of the widow and orphan, our fellow who is in financial straits, and the stranger among us for we were strangers in a strange land ourselves. With this tragedy, and the one before it, it is all too obvious why this is so extant in our religion. How many incidents do there have to be before we “get it”?

Violence and oppression is something we as a human race should never tolerate…In Genesis, it says that G-d created man. Someone once pointed out that that is all it says: G-d created man. It doesn’t say white man or black man or yellow man or red man or green man; just man. And the word for “man”, “Adom”, means earth. Gender is a minor issue especially since some Jews interpret the words to mean that G-d created a human with both genders first and then merely pulled them apart.

We have seen divergent groups of people come together in solidarity. Yes, there are those who are taking advantage, but for the most part, people are civil. They are marching and expressing their anger and frustration in a very appropriate catharsis. As we look around our country, we even see law enforcement officials participating and expressing their grief as well.

Many of us are seeing that this is a symptom of a disease allowed to go on for too long. It is time, now for us to come together in solidarity that despite superficial differences, we are all one. We all have the same color blood, same organs, same body shape; we are all human, that is our race.

People are speaking out, but in positive terms. As we mourn the useless loss of life, we are all asking, what can we do to make things better? We are all reflecting and coming to terms with the division that has affected our society and people are saying “enough is enough”.

As we go forward, let us remember the Torah that says, “Love your fellow as yourself”. Let us all act towards that goal. We don’t have to agree on everything, but let’s at least respect each other for our differences, and move forward in peace.

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